European stock benchmarks stuttered on Wednesday after Chinese equities slumped and oil resumed its descent.

By mid-morning in London the FTSE 100 was down 0.31% at 6,385.33. In Frankfurt, the Dax was down 0.20% at 10,328.99 and in Paris the Cac 40 had slipped 0.33% at 4,551.34.

S&P 500 mini futures were down 0.25%

Oil fell as the end of a three-day strike by oil and gas workers in Kuwait signaled a ramp-up of production. Brent crude was recently down 2.07% at $43.11.

Semiconductor designer Arm Holdings (ARMH) was up about 2.5% in London after beating first-quarter profit expectations. The company provides processors for iPhones. Arm was the second-biggest gainer on the FTSE 100 after Rio Tinto (RIO), which was up well over 3% by mid-morning.

Catalog clothing retailer N Brown (NBRNF) (NBWGY) slumped almost 13% after weak full-year results highlighted concerns about the amount it was spending on its transformation into an e-commerce company - and the success of that plan. Peel Hunt analysts cut their recommendation to reduce from hold.

In Amsterdam, brewer Heineken (HINKF) surged almost 5% to a record high before giving up most of its early gains after reporting stronger-than-expected first-quarter volume growth thanks to a good turnout in China and Vietnam.

In Zurich, power grid maker ABB(ABB) - Get Report was up about 3% after declining first-quarter profit nevertheless outstripped analysts' forecasts.

The Nikkei 225 closed up 0.19% at 16,906.54 and the Topix closed up 0.20% at 1,365.78.

Mitsubishi Motors closed down 15.2% in Tokyo after the Japanese car maker admitted to falsifying fuel tests.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 0.93% at 21,236.31.

Hong Kong-listed Legend Holdings whose venture capital arm is part of a bid consortium which agreed to pay $3.6 billion for Lexmark International (LXK) , closed down 1.7% in Hong Kong.

On mainland China, the CSI 300 closed down 1.77% at 3,181.03.